5 Major Enterprises Making The Flight Towards Flexibility
Just two years ago, flexible work arrangements were a rare luxury typically afforded to freelancers and entrepreneurs. Today, they’re the norm. The volatility of the Covid-19 health crisis has spotlighted the importance of operational scalability. Businesses now need to ensure that their staff are able to seamlessly transition between remote and on-site work systems, in accordance with local Covid-19 measures.
However, beyond the pandemic era, many major corporates are seeing the value of flexible work. From reduced overhead costs, increased labour productivity, to better work-life balance, businesses are realising the need to better support their employees in the new flexible future of work. Here are some ways businesses are evolving their approach towards work.
HSBC has sought to increase the inclusiveness of its remote work policy. HSBC Singapore rolled out a set of impressive flexible work initiatives designed to better support employees’ remote work needs.
For example, the company has stepped up its IT infrastructure and digital resources to better support its remote workers. It has also provided a one-time reimbursement of SGD500 to all eligible staff for the purchase of office equipment and ‘Moved from traditional fixed desk seating to an activity-based workplace where employees have a variety of individual and shared spaces available to work or collaborate with others’
Meanwhile in Hong Kong, HSBC announced last year that it would allow its employees to ‘choose to work remotely up to two days or up to four days a week’. Similarly it provided a one-time stipend for its employees to purchase home office equipment.
On a global level, HSBC has made drastic cuts to its office space. The conglomerate aims to cut its office space by 20% by 2021 as its employees move onto long-term flexible work arrangements.
Instead of closing down its offices, IKEA Singapore has sought to reinvent its office space to better support the ‘new normal’. Hence instead of cornering employees to permanent remote work arrangements, IKEA has sought to create an inspiring and socially-distanced workplace that employees have the option of returning to.
IKEA’s new office space has taken an open-concept approach which offers an array of workstations. Employees can choose between standing desks, hot desks and private meeting pods or offices.
Most notably, IKEA built their new offices based on employee feedback. The new office design accounts for employee concerns surrounding, cleanliness, storage and comfort. As acknowledged by IKEA for Business’ Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, ‘Even the day when hopefully Covid has all gone, I think we will have a much higher percentage of co-workers and colleagues working at home at any point in time’.
In 2020, Jack Dorsey joined the band of well-respected CEOs that have made the bold move towards permanent flexibility. The CEO boldly declared that if its employees wanted to work from home ‘forever’, it would willingly support their choice.
Workplace flexibility was granted as an additional workplace arrangement option given the emotional, health and practical scheduling considerations fully remote workers faced in the pandemic. For those seeking some return to regularity, Dorsey reassured them that ‘our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return’.
Dorsey’s embrace of remote work triggered a wave of similar permanent ‘flights to flexibility’ made by tech giants such as Apple, Google and Facebook.
In line with the ‘modern working life’, Spotify announced that it would allow its employees to ‘work from anywhere’. Spotify is an example of a major corporation that has chosen to retain the new post-pandemic working norms.
Spotify has also provided comprehensive support for the specific needs of its remote workers. For example, the company introduced ‘My Work Mode’ which allows employees and their managers to jointly decide on the most optimal work arrangement that work for them. Spotify has also introduced ‘more flexibility when it comes to what country and city each employee works from’. If an employee opts for a location that is not near a Spotify office, Spotify supports them with a co-working space membership if they want to work from an office.
Spotify’s new policy demonstrates an empathetic and detailed understanding of remote work. Just because remote workers are out of sight, does not mean they are out of mind.
Facebook gradually evolved its work policy to ‘allow full-time employees (to) continue working from home even after the pandemic if their job duties can be completed remotely’. Previously only experienced employees with strong performance reviews were allowed to be moved onto long-term remote work arrangements.
Facebook’s decision comes at a time when a growing number of American employees are demanding the right to flexibility.
We know, office design improvements can be nothing short of a costly logistical nightmare. At Deskimo we provide you with a curated list of workspaces that your business can tap onto. Why not let your employees choose the workspace that best works for them and your business?
Deskimo is the flexible work platform of choice that helps businesses navigate the new future of work. With us, you and your business can adapt to flexible work, and pay-as-you-go across dozens of spaces in Singapore and Hong Kong.